If you are ready to embrace the blustery fall, we’ve got you covered with the best warming treats (think cinnamon, chiles, and bourbon) you should not even try to resist this season.
This scorcher of a sandwich spread from Brine Street Picklery combines mega hot red cherry peppers with green bell peppers, onion, garlic and vinegar. Obviously, it’s great on a hoagie, but the relish is also a love match with scrambled eggs, pizza and hummus. Available at Fair Food Farmstand, 51 N. 12th St. (in Reading Terminal Market), 215.386.5211 and online at brinestreetpicklery.com.
Think of this pretty, petite winter squash as butternut’s more charming kid sister. Its small size and thinner, edible skin make it a breeze to chop and prep, and its sweet, nutty flavor is even more delicious. Delicata is a highly seasonal variety, so snap up as many as you can at farmers’ markets and grocery stores for the few weeks it will be on offer.
It’s true that salami usually leans in the direction of Italy, but this new version by charcuterie specialist Nick Macri at La Divisa Meats takes the classic cured meat to the Middle East. It’s seasoned with za’atar, a mixture of thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame and sumac, making it an obvious choice for rounding out a picnic spread that includes hummus, pita and falafel. Available at La Divisa Meats, 51 N. 12th St. (in Reading Terminal Market), 215.386.5211.
Bourbon, the brown spirit that is an icon of the American South, has been keeping a pretty big secret. The stuff has a Pennsylvania past; some of the finest bourbon ever distilled was made decades ago in our state. Now Wigle Whiskey, a Pittsburgh- based distillery, is making the first bourbon to come out of the Keystone State in more than 40 years. Wigle’s version is made from locally grown Wapsie Valley corn—an heirloom variety that makes for more complex flavor. Available at Petruce Et Al., 1121 Walnut St., 267.225.8232, petrucephilly.com, or by the bottle online at wiglewhiskey.com.
CINNAMON ROLL BLENDED NUT BUTTER
If the mall food court tempts you with its cinnamon bun aroma, this spread from Blind Spot Nutbutters could be your healthier alternative. A mix of peanuts, cashews and almonds, the butter is sweetened with brown sugar and spiced up with cinnamon. Spread it on toast, pair with fall apples or simply treat yourself (or your kids) to a spoonful straight from the jar. Available at Stratton’s Wynnorr Farm, 1631 E. Street Rd., Glen Mills, 610.399.9080 and online at blindspotnutbutters.com.
THOMAS JEFFERSON’S NIGHTCAP
The tiny coffee and drinking-chocolate shop at Shane Confectionery in Old City is hidden to the point that it’s easy to miss. But you should venture back there for a Thomas Jefferson’s Chocolate Nightcap, a blend of 62% dark chocolate, milk, cream and vanilla served with a fluffy from-scratch marshmallow. Available at Shane Confectionery, 110 Market St., 215.922.1048, shanecandies.com.
SIMPLE RECIPES FOR FENNEL
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Every fall for more than three decades, history buffs and architecture admirers alike gather for the Cocktails at the Castle gala at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown. As the name suggests, drinks are the prime attraction, but food is a highlight of the event as well. More than 25 restaurants, including Empanada Mama and the Plumsteadville Inn, will offer small plates to guests at this walk-around tasting. Dessert includes coffee from the Zen Den and creatively decorated cakes from Ann’s Cake Pan. The silent auction promises prizes for the food set as well, including cooking classes and other dining experiences. Last year’s gala raised more than $100,000 for the preservation of this historic museum. The event takes place Oct. 9, 6:30–10:30pm. Tickets cost $150 and are available by phone at 215.345.0210, ext. 132. —JM
84 S. Pine St., Doylestown
GET ON THE BEER BUS
Thanks to Philly Brew Tours, craft beer fans can sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the best small breweries and distilleries in the region, including Yards Brewing Company, Dock Street Brewing Company and Philadelphia Brewing Co. “Guests will go from strangers to drinking buddies,” says Philly Brew Tours owner Chad Brodsky. Tours start in Philadelphia, where a 15-passenger van named “Barley” picks everyone up for a five-hour cruise of breweries and distilleries, plus a beer-paired meal at a beer-centric restaurant. Have questions? Tour guides are experts in all things beer. Tours are $85 per person and include transportation, beverages, food and gratuities. Nondrinking tickets are available for $60. Philly Brew Tours also arranges private tours for corporate events, parties and more. —Robin Shreeves
Philly Brew Tours
SPICE UP YOUR FALL COOKING
Indian food is practically synonymous with curry. “But we don’t label our spices that way,” says Anupy Singla, author of the cookbook Indian for Everyone (Agate Surrey, 2014) and owner of the spice company Indian as Apple Pie. She knows this firsthand because she watched the varied spice blends that give Indian food its distinctive flavor being made in her father’s village in Punjab, India, as a child.
Raised in King of Prussia, Singla began cooking at the age of 10 when her father taught her to cook eggplant and potatoes. Since then, she’s won awards as a broadcast journalist, but she never lost that early enthusiasm for authentic Indian cooking. Ultimately, she quit TV news to provide home-cooked meals for her daughters—and write three cookbooks.
Frustrated by the lack of high-quality, authentic spices in local stores, she launched Indian as Apple Pie in 2013. Her products have heady aromas and no additives, salt, food dyes or preservatives; the tandoori masala obtains its vivid red hue from dried chiles and paprika. (It’s also great in a yogurt marinade for chicken or added to a simple stir-fry.) Her chai masala is of course great for tea, but it’s also nice for warming up oatmeal or baked goods in the fall. —Carrie Havranek
Indian as Apple Pie spice blends are available at In The Kitchen Cooking School (10 Mechanic St., Haddonfield, NJ, 856.489.1682), and at indianasapplepie.com.
THE DAIRY QUEEN
The Dairy Good Cookbook (Andrews McMeel, 2015) celebrates dairy farmers all across the United States by spotlighting their stories and especially the hearty, homey recipes that have fed their farm families for generations. But we’re most excited about the pages in The Dairy Good Cookbook that show off Pennsylvania. Blogger (and dairy farmer) Raechel Kilgore Sattazahn from Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, in Berks County reps our region with her recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Blueberry Torte, a cream cheese-filled pastry based on a buttery crust and rich with farm fresh cream. Can’t wait to get your hands on the book to make that dessert? You’ll find the recipe (and many more) on Sattazahn’s blog: GoBeyondTheFarm.com. —JM